Two cannabis dispensaries in Kimberley may soon officially become Cannabis Retail Stores through the Provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).
With the legalization of cannabis quickly approaching on Oct. 17, Kimberley City Council has approved a recommendation of application for both Tamarack Dispensaries in Marysville and Earth’s Own Naturals on Howard Street.
Both dispensaries had to apply to become cannabis retail stores through the LCRB in order to continue to operate. The window to apply for licensing opened in August of this year.
City CAO Scott Sommerville says that Council is familiar with both businesses and both have been in operation for a little over three years.
As part of the licensing process, the City is required to gather the views of residents in the area if the location of the store may affect nearby residents.
Sommerville explained that the City had notified Kimberley residents of the two applications through postings on Facebook, in the Kimberley Bulletin and by mailing letters to those within a certain distance from the stores.
“We had a largely positive response from both notifications with over 22 emails of positive support,” Sommerville said at a Regular Council Meeting on Monday. “We brought this through to today’s meeting because we wanted to expedite the process, especially since both businesses have been around for so long and because they both promptly applied [for licensing].”
Councillor Nigel Kitto gave “kudos” to the staff and Council for “being ahead of the curve.”
“These two businesses will get the first kick of the can and they will be able to regulate their businesses without any detriment to the community,” he said. “Congratulations to everyone involved.”
Councillor Albert Hoglund agreed, saying that both businesses are run well and have served not only the Kimberley community but surrounding communities as well.
Sommerville says that some of the City’s reasons for approving the applications included the fact that no negative impact on the community is anticipated if the application is approved, as the use is permitted in the zoning.
“Both buildings are in areas that are mostly surrounded by other commercial buildings,” he explained.
Owners of Tamarack Dispensaries, Rod and Tamara Duggan, were present at Monday’s meeting. They thanked Council for their continued support and said they look forward to seeing what comes of the application.
“We are grateful for Council and the community’s support,” said Rod. “Thank you for having faith in us and trusting us. There are a lot of emotions involved and every day is an interesting one in our shop; some days are full of laughter and some tears.”